Updated: Mon, 04 Jul 2022 12:18 PM IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday won the trust vote in the state assembly with ease. The Shinde-led government won by a 164-99 margin in the 288-member House, while three members abstained from voting.
Speaker Rahul Narvekar announced that the trust vote has been carried by a majority vote.
Following the recent death of a Shiv Sena MLA, the current strength of the Assembly is reduced to 287, thus the majority mark is 144.
Shinde was sworn in as CM on June 30, a day after Uddhav Thackeray quit the post. BJP's Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the deputy CM.
Former ministers Ashok Chavan and Vijay Wadettiwar of Congress couldn't caste their votes as they were out of the House when it was locked for a head count. Meanwhile, Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh also didn't come to the House for voting.
During the proceedings, Fadnavis recalled how he was mocked when he said he will make a comeback after resigning as CM in 2019 following Shiv Sena's move to ditch BJP. The Sena later formed the MVA government by joining hands with the NCP and the Congress.
"I had once said that I'll come back. But when I said that, several people mocked me. I've come back today and brought him (Eknath Shinde) along with me. I won't take revenge on people who mocked me. I'll forgive them, everything isn't taken to heart in politics," Fadnavis said.
"In politics, everyone should be prepared to listen to adversary's voices. We've seen that people were jailed for making statements and posting on social media. We should be prepared for people speaking against us. We should respond to criticism but in a proper way," he added.
Ahead of the floor test, one more Shiv Sena MLA from the Uddhav Thackeray camp joined CM Shinde's faction, taking its tally to 40. The Shiv Sena currently has 55 MLAs in the 288-member state Assembly.
Santosh Bangar, the MLA from Kalamnuri in Hingoli district, on Monday morning switched over to the Shinde camp.
Earlier, in a jolt to Uddhav Thackeray ahead of the Eknath Shinde-led government's floor test, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar had on Sunday reinstated Shinde as the Shiv Sena legislature party leader, removing Ajay Chaudhary.
Narvekar also recognised the appointment of Bharat Gogawale from the Shinde camp as the chief whip of the Sena, removing Sunil Prabhu, who belongs to the Thackeray faction.
The development comes as a major setback to the Thackeray faction, which will be bound by the whip to be issued by Gogawale for the trust vote. If these MLAs refuse to follow the whip, they face disqualification.
Earlier on Sunday evening, Shinde, along with his faction of Shiv Sena MLAs, held a meeting with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, BJP MLAs, and other party leaders at a hotel in Mumbai to chalk out a strategy for the floor test.
In the latest development, the Thackeray faction of the Sena has also started the legal process to disqualify 16 MLAs, including Shinde.
Shinde, in his first address on the floor of the Maharashtra Assembly as a Chief Minister on Sunday, said that the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to let him lead the government despite having more members than his side has "opened the eyes of many".
He also said that after the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state, a "BJP-Shiv Sena government" has taken charge which is based on the beliefs of the party founder Balasaheb Thackeray.